NEW DELHI: China's has filed 200 patents mostly for 5G and camera technology from its India research and development center (R&D) and said that "huge investments" are being made to further expand the Hyderabad facility.
"40% patents are filed while the rest 60% are in the process of getting filed. This is being done by the India R&D team," Tasleem Arif, Vice President & Head, R&D told ET.
Oppo had last year said that it is investing $7 billion globally to develop core technologies in hardware, software and system along with 5G/6G over the next three years.
"We have established our 5G lab in India, which was a huge investment. The global bucket is $7 billion and India is getting investments from that fund," he said.
Arif said that Oppo's India R&D center is the largest outside of China. "The Indian market is very critical. We are investing a lot on local resources in India."
Asked if Oppo was planning to expand R&D in Bengaluru, Arif said that the expansion is still under consideration but the company first wants to fully utilise the Hyderabad facility.
"IoT and 5G are going to be key focus areas for us in India," Arif said, adding that the company will hire more engineers to expand the facility.
Oppo currently has 400 employees at the Hyderabad facility. Arif said that the pace of hiring slowed down in 2020 due to the pandemic but the company will increase the hiring activity this year. "The way our business is growing, our employee base will also grow."
The R&D facility not just helps Oppo localise products for the India market, but it also helps software and technology for overseas markets, especially Europe. "All 5G launches with European telcos were supported by the Oppo India R&D team."
Oppo, which is the fifth largest brand in India by volume market share, will launch more than six 5G smartphones in India across price range. It also plans to bring 5G handsets in the affordable segment.
Currently,Motorola is the only brand to offer a 5G smartphone in the sub-Rs 20,000 price segment.
"We want to be among the first brands to bring the 5G technology in lower price segments. Our recently launched 5G will enable us to do that," Arif said.
Oppo is currently in a process to establish standalone camera and Artificial Intelligence (AI) labs at the Hyderabad facility. "We will hire new talent but our existing employees will also play a key role." Arif said.
The handset maker is also working with startups and IITs to further aid its R&D-related efforts in the country. Arif said that there are a few startups that are working very closely with Oppo. "Some are in initial stages which will soon result in partnerships for products for India."
Oppo has a seperate team that looks after startup funding. "...whenever they identify startups, they discuss with us," Arif said.